April is Earth Month. It's the time where everyone devotes a tweet, Facebook status, or artfully crafted Instagram post to "saving the environment". But does sharing information across social media really help?
If you ask Contiki, the #1 travel company for 18-35 year olds, they would say that it's a combination of sharing across social media and taking smart simple actions. In November 2015, Contiki took 9 Storytellers to the East Coast of Australia to learn first-hand about the dangers of plastic pollution in our oceans. The Storytellers, comprised of surfers, photographers and musicians who each have their own personal connection to the ocean, weaved together a story of conservation and adventure, ultimately learning why it's so important to tread lightly when traveling and to realize how our actions can directly impact the ocean. These storytellers, each influencers in their own right, were featured in the documentary which achieved significant reach and distribution.
"Millennials are highly influenced by their peers and what they consume online, so the Contiki Storytellers Australia trip was a great platform to change behavior around the environment," said Melissa DaSilva, President of Contiki. "Through the captivating storytelling from the perspective of nine millennial social media influencers, we are able to show our audience how even the smallest changes in their behavior when it comes to plastic use and disposal can make a huge impact."
However, the question becomes, when inspiring social action, is social activity enough? What does a like, a view, a share, actually get you? Contiki is just one of the companies that truly got that it starts with the inspiration from influencers, but it continues with content that inspired the community to not just share, but take action.
They crafted blog content that was highly action oriented, such as 10 Simple Ways To Reduce Your Plastic Footprint. These included actionable tips, such as: buying in bulk, investing in reusable bags, and saying no to straws. Supported with social content, they did more than just ask people to share. They gave them simple ways that they can take action.
When working on your next social action, non-profit, or political campaign- remember, reach is important, but action is imperative. Make sure you're planning action based support of your next social campaign.